Source: HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), the global spokes group for the industry’s hospitality technology segment and producers of the HITEC® brand, announced today a new project that will develop a code of digital responsibility for hospitality.

Earlier this year, HFTP commissioned the University of Houston College of Global Hospitality Leadership to write a white paper on digital responsibility, which is featured in the inaugural issue of HFTP’s Tech+Fin Hospitality Magazine available at HITEC 2024 and on the association’s website (available June 24). Resulting from the paper’s conclusion and discussions with industry experts, it became clear that the industry needs some base guidelines or code of conduct for digital responsibility. Therefore, HFTP decided to adopt the project, beginning by convening a task force of industry experts and academics to develop the code.

Task force members include:

  • Co-chair Scot Campbell, CHTP Principal for Integrated Resort Advisors, HFTP Global Past President, and inductee to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
  • Co-chair Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, CHE, CHIA, CAHTA • Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair at University of Houston and HFTP Global Past President
  • Mike Blake Vice President of IT for Kemper Sports
  • Steven Bronken Head of Global Hospitality for Ruckus Networks
  • Sanovnik Destang, CPA, CA, CFA • Executive Director for Bay Gardens Resorts
  • Florian Gallini CEO at INTEREL
  • Thomas Hempel Strategic Vice President of Sales and Partnerships at VENZA
  • Barry Thomas, CHTP • Vice President of Technology for Orient Express and Fairmont Hotels
  • Sherry Marek Founder of Aiken Street Consulting and inductee to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
  • Shannon McCallum Vice President of Hotel Operations at Resorts World Las Vegas,
  • Neal Patel Managing Parter of Blue Chip Hotels
  • Andrew Rubinacci Chief Advisory Officer for FLYR for Hospitality
  • Steve D’Erasmo, CHTP+ Director of Property Technology Services and Hotel Systems for Hilton Worldwide
  • Minwoo Lee , Ph.D., MBA, CHE, CHIA Associate Professor and director of the Hospitality Analytics and Innovation Lab at the Conrad N. Hilton, University of Houston
  • Thomas Atzenhofer, CPA • Deputy CEO for HFTP

There are many good practices for digital responsibility throughout the industry, but these have never been aggregated, vetted and published as a compilation of the best practices in a uniform guide, said Thomas Atzenhofer, HFTP Deputy CEO. HFTP’s task force of global industry technology and business experts, has agreed to tackle the task and make the industry better for all segments… from small to large.

The first in a series of task force meetings will be held later this month at HITEC 2024 in Charlotte, N.C. Once a draft code is developed, it will be presented for industry feedback. Ultimately, a final code will be developed and hospitality enterprises who opt to follow the base guidelines will be awarded a compliance seal.

The advent of AI and digital responsibility is going to continue to be a growing concern to our customers said Scot Campbell, Task Force Co-chair. Rather than have disparate governmental regulations by those who don’t understand our business, it is more prudent to have these guidelines developed for the industry by the industry. None of us want to be able to have an unhappy customer whose digital information is accidentally used in a way they did not intend.

HFTP is accepting applications of interest for additional task force volunteers. Send a message of interest along with your LinkedIn profile to [email protected] by June 17, 2024. The target date for the release of the guidelines is Q4 2024. HFTP will also publish code guidelines for the club industry in Q1 of 2025. 

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in the EU and Middle East. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. In addition, it oversees the hospitality-specific® and the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI). For more information about HFTP, visit For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at and the HFTP Connect blog at

Eliza Selig
Staff VP, Marketing and Communications
+1 512 220 4026